NOW YOU SEE ME 2 [2016]

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Directed by Jon M. Chu

Written by Ed Solomon (screenplay), Pete Chiarelli

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson , Dave Franco, Lizzy Caplan, Daniel Radcliffe, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman


Much like its predecessor, this is a film with an inane plot that is near impossible to follow for the entire movie. Suspension of belief is a must to even think about watching this; though a suspension of thinking full stop would be ideal. This is pure escapist entertainment, though this sequel is not in the same time-zone as the original when it comes to entertainment, interesting magic tricks or action set-pieces. And it also really pushes that requirement of throwing logic out the window to such an extent that it not only flies out the window, it plummets to the ground at terminal velocity.

It can’t help that the original director isn’t a part of the project either.

The story here is somehow simpler that the original while also more nonsensical, with a globe-trotting story that just happens to include China, the biggest market for this sort of mindless entertainment.

Dollar dollar bills, y’all!

Every character returns, except for Isla Fisher, whose character’s absence is literally explained away with a single line. She is replaced by Lizzy Caplan, who does her best to inject some humour into proceedings and fits in well with the other three. But none of the original three characters have changed much, if at all; they are still two dimensional puppets who may or may not actually have supernatural powers.

The simple premise of the film is that this time around, after re-emerging from hiding for a performance, The Four Horsemen themselves are tricked, and somehow end up in China, where they are eventually forced to attempt a high-risk heist by villain Walter Mabry (Daniel Radcliffe, of all people), who is after a key that can unlock any computer in the world. That is it. This really has to be the laziest writing of a McGuffin that I have ever come across.

Some of the tricks performed here are so ridiculous it is hard not to laugh at them, with Jesse Eisenberg’s character at one point freezing the rain from falling and then sending it upwards. It seems like magic, and is mildly entertaining, until the trick is ‘explained’. It is again hard not to laugh at the absurdity of this ‘explanation’.

now-you-see-me

People who know me probably know that I am the last person to pick holes in plots. Hell, I loved High-Rise, as it had so much to offer, so many layers to its story. This film however is too blunt, too ridiculous and too shallow to be anything more than mindless entertainment. If however you do want to pick holes in the plot, be ready for a migraine.

I must though give credit to one decent set-piece – despite its ridiculousness and implausibility, it is fun to watch and is exceptionally captured by the DP. There is also another great but brief action sequence involving Ruffalo eluding some Chinese villains. Other than these two scenes though, there isn’t much to be found when it comes to action.

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There are some nice sleight of hand tricks that the actors have learnt here, which is fun to watch. But the big tricks they pull off insult the viewer’s intelligence, while explaining how the simplertwo beer tricks work take away any impact they may have had. The chemistry that was apparent in the original movie has lost a lot of its sparkle, as there is no real rivalry amongst the four, just talk, talk, talk. While the acting is fantastic individually, as a whole it is extremely underwhelming despite the ensemble cast. Much like Lionel Shrike, and most sequels if we are being honest here, this film belongs at the bottom of a river, locked in a safe.

2 beers out of a sixer

2/6

 

 

31 Comments on “NOW YOU SEE ME 2 [2016]

  1. I was not a fan of the original and even though Lizzy Caplan is in this . I have a feeling I will be annoyed with this sequel.

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  2. Nice review, Jordan. I believe you. Too bad; it has the feel of Oceans 11 to it. And the cast line up looks randomly interesting. I might stumble on this one day if it shows up on television.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This looks awful. So the first one to stare at hot Ruffalo in the suit but I’m not sure it’s gonna be enough for me to see this one

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post πŸ™‚ I have not seen this yet, but it probably does not look like a film I am interested in seeing at least not right now. Then again, I did not see the first one. Anyway, keep up the great work as always πŸ™‚

    P.S. I am quite aware They Look Like People was not a horror comedy. I have not seen it yet, but reading your review I was quite aware of that πŸ™‚ When I said horror comedy, I was actually referring to Shaun of the Dead not They Look Like People, which was the film you were reviewing. I probably should have clarified that more clearly. Sorry about that πŸ™‚ Once again, keep up the great work as always πŸ™‚

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  5. “…it also really pushes that requirement of throwing logic out the window to such an extent that it not only flies out the window, it plummets to the ground at terminal velocity.” – THIS. A big reason I freaking hated the first one, which started fine and then just bombed. Ugh. I just don’t think I can sit through another one, especially one that is more preposterous than the original failure. Great review Jordan!

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  6. Suspension of belief is fine, and it’s to be expected in a movie about magic. But the problem is the first movie is just not fun and actually quite annoying! I rolled my eyes when the finale comes and man, it’s irritating to see great actors like Freeman and Caine being so wasted. They clearly only did it for the $$$. Definitely skipping this one Jordan.

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    • It seems its the month of the sequel. This, The Conjuring (GROAN) and freaking Ninja Turtles. Cha-ching! I find it very hard to respect a movie who’s main purpose is to make money

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  7. Uh oh!

    I only watched the first one REALLY recently and I enjoyed the first 15 minutes a lot then felt it when further and further downhill. It was just pretty silly so I can only imagine what the sequel is like ha ha.

    Best ting about it is probably Daniel Radcliffe!

    Great review Jordan πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks Em πŸ™‚ Yeah this is just dumb really. Eisenberg ‘manipulating’ the rain has to be one of the dumbest things I have ever seen. And that includes superpeople movies

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha! Love that sentence πŸ™‚ that’s one of the things I disliked about the first movie though, the CGI was pretty OTT and actually made the tricks impossible, rather than ‘cleverer’.

        I saw Jesse Eisenberg on Top Gear (HAHAHA!) and he seemed like a nice bloke actually, which was surprising as he always comes across pretty smug lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      • but how AWKWARD does Chris Evans make the interview?? Whenever he opens his mouth its cringe-worthy. And the new car they drive… not only is the new track shit, but he makes a big deal about a freaking water splash and a tiny jump in the track, like that makes it more exciting somehow

        Did you see the most recent one? Evans threw up after Sabine drove around a circuit really fast. He gets car-sick and he is hosting a car-show. Riiiight.

        And they have like seven or eight presenters too. Its so shit!! Can’t wait for The Grand Tour to start!

        Liked by 1 person

      • HAHAHA!!!!!! Oh that made my day Jordan πŸ™‚ I did hear about him throwing up when they were filming and it sounded hilarious! Like you say, he is HOSTING a car show and he gets sick if he drives too fast?!!

        I haven’t seen this week’s episode yet but apparently lowest figures ever and lost over half its viewers already…!

        When does The Grand Tour begin? πŸ™‚ can’t wait too!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • late ’16 they say it will start. Can’t wait. And yeah, already lost half their viewers HA. I loved Sabine’s reaction after her threw up…. “why is it red??” Bahahaha

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh man I think I saw the clip of that, Chris Evans replies “strawberries”?

        What a joke ha ha ha, I hope it carries on a bit longer though – it’s great comedy!!!! πŸ˜€

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      • I like watching it for the entertainment of it being so crap, and Evans making everything so cringe-worthy. And the LeBlanc supposedly knowing nothing about London schtick is laaaame. The guy did the series episodes, its not like he doesn’t know the freaking city!

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  8. I wish they actually explained the random magic, like Eisenberg stopping rain or Ruffalo randomly making glass appear. I feel this film has a problem with wanting to explain a lot with science (which is fine, but laughable to the lengths they do so) but then giving no explanation to how some characters do things with no explanation.

    I guess we are supposed to believe that they do have superpowers in some ways…

    Liked by 1 person

    • From memory they actually tried to explain the rain trick and it was just sooooo bad, beyond laughable. Something about lights and showers spraying waters

      Liked by 1 person

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